When the Kochi IPL team was won after a whopping bid of US $333 million (Rs 1533 crores), -- the second-most costliest purchase in the Twenty20 tournament -- it sent shockwaves around the country.
The state of Kerala, also known as God's own country, basked in delight that it had finally joined the elite with a cricket team of their own. But a few months down the line all those dreams may be shattered as the owners of Kochi struggle to resolve their internal dispute and if that extends to another few their team might be scrapped.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has issued October 20 deadline to the franchise to get their house in order or face expulsion from the Indian Premier League.
Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) secretary TC Mathews revealed that things are not looking good for the Kochi franchise, but is hoping they can resolve all their differences.
"They have to sort out their difference because there is no point in continuing the debate. Unless they sort out the issue in a couple of days they will lose their IPL team. The BCCI has given them a strict warning for the same," Mathews told Rediff.com.
"The time is running out for Kochi so they have to come to an understanding or else they will lose their team," he added.
It has been learnt that the Kochi consortium is facing an internal fight between two groups.
The Gaikwad brothers-owned Rendezvous Sports World Group, which originally bought the franchise, is facing stiff opposition from the other partners in the consortium. They have been asked to reduce their sweat equity from 25 percent to 10 percent which the Gaikwad brothers have flatly refused to do.
The Rendezvous Sports World also includes other partners in Vivek Venugopal, Sunanda Pushkar and the Gaikwad brothers.
The other investors in the consortium are Anchor Earth Pvt Ltd, Parinee Developers, Filmwave, Anand Shyam, who have been insisting that the Rendezvous should surrender 15 percent of their equity in the franchise.
Mathews, himself, admitted that the situation is rather confusing at the moment and they would not be interfering in the matter.
"Now the report has come that some of the people have come together and told that they don't want the Gaikwad brothers. We don't have any role to play there. We have requested both the factions to resolve the dispute amicably."
He also pointed out that the work at the stadium, which is the association's responsibility, is progressing on schedule.
"We are actually trying to perform our cricket part, which is the infrastructure. We are ready with the stadium and the only backlog is the lights, which have to be enhanced. We are hoping to finish the stadium in the next two years and once ready it will be one of the best stadiums in the world," Mathews said.